Thank you for your feedback.
videovillain wrote:First, if you are starting from scratch, you won't be able to read/write hirigana or katakana and this app doesn't teach them at all so you are basically thrown into the deep end without a float. You said you'd tried many, that must mean you know quite a bit of Japanese by now, maybe you forgot your audience doesn't know any? You should really let your paying audience know that they won't be learning these basics and that it is required to know them before it is even remotely useful.
You're right. Goi does not teach Hiragana or Katakana. The Kana is quite easy to learn and very many methods advocate learning it first rather than rely on Romaji (there are many critiques of learning with Romaji so I will not list them here). You're right though, we should be more transparent about that. We just assumed that every serious student of Japanese would already know the Kana. I'll be sure to incorporate the fact that we don't teach Kana on the site and in the app store description. For us, "no Romaji" was a feature, not a detriment
videovillain wrote:5 minutes after downloading it I was wishing I was allowed to draw on the screen when learning the words. It says 'everywhere' that writing it helps memorize it; yet it never lets you write (it doesn't have to analyze my writing, just let me draw on the screen to practice.)
When we say writing it helps to memorize it we meant writing on paper while using the phone. This is what I and many of our users do. Writing on the phone just isn't that enjoyable and its utility is questionable. However, this is something we'll consider if we receive a lot of requests for it.
videovillain wrote:While on the subject of drawing, it'd be nice to see some stroke orders. The screens showing the new words have so much white space that is just unused. It could be used for writing, stroke orders, example sentences, other kanji compounds the kanji is found it, etc.
We are definitely
working on implementing stroke order into the app. We prioritized developing and testing our algorithm and coming up with a unique and powerful way to learn rather than building in bells and whistles early on. This has been a very appreciate approach for many of our (admittedly, a bit more advanced) users.
videovillain wrote:Example sentences and/or kanji compounds would go a long way to help solidify the learning of the words and meanings. ESPECIALLY IN THE LIBRARY! The library is basically devoid of anything useful besides the one single interpretation given of the words chosen to teach.
The above response regarding stroke order also applies here. The goal of Goi is not to be a replacement for other methodologies of learning Japanese. It's sole purpose is to teach vocabulary. We want to help build users' vocabulary so that they can interact with native materials as quickly as possible. We're not teaching grammar, usage, or anything else, just vocabulary. By focusing on vocabulary and not diluting the app with other concepts we feel we've created the absolutely most effective tool for learning vocabulary. It's not the best approach to use any one tool when learning any subject and Japanese is no exception. Goi is simply one tool in a language learner's toolset, and in our opinion the best one for learning vocabulary out there.
To be fair, we do not mention anywhere that Goi includes sample sentences. Instead, we repeatedly state that Goi is for vocabulary
videovillain wrote:Why am I allowed to skip forward and not self-grade myself on any item, and them I'm unable to go back because the cute little owl won't let me? This effectively gives me a fail for all 5 items during review... maybe you shouldn't allow me to go to the next page until I grade myself properly (obviously it's possible to not now them all, so maybe a 'check' or an 'X' would be best and I can only progress after making my selections.
Point taken. However, I don't know how this equates to an automatic fail unless you've forgotten to grade yourself. The intro clearly explains that you check the items that you do know.
videovillain wrote:Speaking of reviews, how is it that I start from scratch and get 5 words, then I've got to review 10 before learning new ones... that doesn't make sense.
If you start by telling Goi that you're new
to Japanese your first Review Mode should only contain those words you just learned. If, however, you took the pre-flight check and Goi determines that you know some Japanese it will use that knowledge to introduce you to new words and also to help you review the ones you do know. Are you sure this happened after saying you're completely new to Japanese?
We tested Goi extensively (with beta testers as well) and didn't encounter this problem. We'll be sure to look into it though! We already submitted one fix to Apple, which is still in review. As I said, we're actively working on fixing issues and it's crucial for our users to point them out so we can fix them.
videovillain wrote:I started out with a bug at one point. Business Suit came up in learn, but then it didn't show up in the summary or review, instead, play came up.
We haven't seen this happen at all in testing but I'll be sure to look into it.
videovillain wrote:Also, it doesn't seam to make any difference if I choose to start with the knowledge I have vs. starting from scratch.
It makes quite a large difference. When you tell Goi that you already know some Japanese a pre-flight check is given and Goi learns from what you know. Your existing knowledge is then used for review purposes but also to help you learn new things. This is one of the majorly different things about Goi, it's like Pandora radio in that it takes some time for the algorithm to learn from you. The more you use it, the smarter it gets.
videovillain wrote:There are many other things I'd like to suggest about this app, but I think I'll wait till the next iteration before using it again to be honest. For the price, this app is majorly lacking in content and usability. I don't mean to sound harsh, but its tough love I guess. KanjiBox, Japanese, StickyStudy, Scribe Origins, Anki, and Human Japanese are all far superior
All of the apps you mention are very good. Goi is not another app that simply teaches Japanese. It is an app for teaching you Japanese vocabulary
in the most effective way possible. It's for taking your Japanese to the next level. After you've studied Japanese for a few months or so you will realize that your biggest weakness is vocabulary. Goi was made to fill this void. It was never meant as a tool to take you from 0-60 in Japanese. For absolute beginners, there are plenty of other tools out there. For serious students who wish to improve their vocabulary quickly and effectively so that they can start enjoying native materials (where one really learns a lot) we really feel that it's the best thing out there.
Having said that, Goi is very unique. Like Pandora radio and any other system that utilizes Artificial Intelligence it takes some time for the system to learn from you. Thus, it takes a few days of use for you to really see Goi shine. I hope that you're open to giving Goi more of a chance.
Thank you again for your feedback. I'm sorry if we weren't more clear about what Goi is and, more importantly, isn't. I'll work on improving the description on the site and app store. If you judge Goi for what it is and not for what you would like it to be, however, I think you'll come away with a far different impression.